What is “Steeping?”
“Steeping” is a process by which the intended flavor of an e juice emerges due to oxidation, even mixing of ingredients, reduction of ethanol, and/or heat. Much like wine, e juice can benefit from some time to itself. In fact, “steeping” is not even the right phrase; it would be better suited to call it “aging,” although there are some tried-and-true methods of speeding up the process.
If you purchased your juice from a B&M, or its on the older side, chances are you can just start vaping away. Take a look on your bottle to see if there is a “Born On” date. If the juice was just manufactured or it doesn’t “taste right” it may not have had time to age and let it’s flavors blend.
Let’s look at some of the factors that affect flavor in e-Liquids…
Allowing fresh air to come into contact with your e juice allows the process of oxidation to occur to the nicotine and other constituents of your nectar. Occasionally opening your bottle to let air in and ethanol escape can drastically alter the flavor of your e juice for the better.
Heat helps evaporate ethanol vapors from the e liquid (making it less harsh) and also makes the mixture less viscous.
This factor is particularly useful when combined with the previous two. Heating helps remove ethanol and makes the mixture less viscous, allowing the fresh air you let in to help mix the ingredients and allow even distribution throughout the juice.
Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are the two base ingredients in most e juices. They have different chemical compositions and viscosities.
Most e liquids have a ratio (eg 50/50 Pg/VG, 70/30 PG/VG, etc) of both. The ratio affects other properties of your vaping experience, like throat hit (associated with higher PG) and cloud density (usually comes from a higher VG content); so keep these things in mind when purchasing your favorite juices.
Time is really the biggest factor of all. Some juice manufacturers suggest aging their juice for 4-6 weeks before the flavor tastes as they intended.
How to Get the BEST E Juice Flavor – The Long Method
Now that we know what some of the juice-altering factors are, let’s talk about the best way to get your e juice tasting up to snuff.
1. Vape it. Determine if you even need to steep it. If the e juice already tastes good, just enjoy it.
2. If something seems off, don’t despair. It might just need a little steeping. Open the bottle to let some fresh air in. Put the cap back on and ensure its closed properly.
3.Follow Outkast’s advice and shake it like it like a polaroid pick-cha. Get those ingredients mixed up.
4.Let it sit overnight. Some people like to leave the cap off to expedite the oxidation process. Feel free to repeat steps 2 and 3 a few times throughout the day.
5.Go back to step 1 and repeat as necessary. Some juices might take up to a month to fully develop the intended flavor.
How to Steep E Juice Quickly
I get it. Sometimes you don’t want to wait weeks before enjoying some tasty nectar. Time is best for developing the best e juice flavor, but there are a few quick and dirty tips to speed up the steeping process.
A Hot Water Bath
Remember how I said heat helps evaporate the ethanol and prime the juice for mixing? Let’s do a combination of the long method, plus a hot water bath.
1.While you are getting your tap water hot, go find 2 ziplock bags.
2.Open up the cap of your e liquid and let some fresh air in. Close it well and put it in the first ziplock bag. Make sure there is as little air as possible inside.
3.Place the first bag in the second. Make sure there is as little air as possible. You don’t HAVE to do this, but if you are like me, you do not want to damage your stickers, or risk getting water in the juice.
4. Fill a bowl with the hot tap water. If your tap doesn’t get very warm then you can always microwave it for a bit. Don’t go to boiling, but you DO want to ensure that its pretty hot.
5.Submerge the bag in the hot water.
6.Let it sit until the water is lukewarm.
7.Remove the juice. Let some air in, replace the cap and shake the hell out of it.
8.Repeat 3-4 times. Enjoy.
Our CEO’s Favorite – The Lazy Hot Car Method
If it’s getting warm in your area you can use a hot car to get your juice up to snuff. Just keep it out of direct sunlight and let it sit there for a day. You should notice a significant improvement in the juice’s flavor afterwards, but don’t let it sit for more than a day–there is such a thing as over-steeping.
There are some other wackier ways, like microwaving (I don’t like that idea personally!) and things like ultrasonic wave tanks to mix e liquids in a matter of minutes. Some people tape their juices to their apartment’s radiator!
Me? I like to buy the juice ahead of time and let it age naturally, all the while giving it some room to breathe. But in a pinch I tend to give it a hot water bath.
If you found this article helpful be sure to click all those social media buttons at the top-right of the page. How do you like to steep YOUR e juice? Join the discussion below!
Posts by Rob